- Debi's Kids was started by Live 5 News anchor Debi Chard in 1993 to serve families who have no other resources for the holidays. In 2004, WCSC's Debi's Kids formed a partnership with The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program in an effort to reach more families in need during the holidays. We provide new, unwrapped toys for children 12 and under for Christmas, and in some cases through our partnership with the Salvation Army, also provide food for the Holidays. We determine the need of the applicants using the federal poverty guidelines, and for 2009 signed up 2289 families including more than 4300 children.
- "Debi's Kids, Inc" is a 501 (c) 3 organization, governed by a board of directors. Debi's Kids is an all volunteer organization, relying on dedicated board members and volunteers who oversee the services for thousands of families in our Tri-County area. Over the past 16 years, we have successfully met the goals of providing toys for the families who have qualified for services. Our goals also include involving community organizations, businesses and individuals in helping serve the needs of those less fortunate in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties. Because of the downturn in the economy as well as the growth in our community, each year we must meet an increased demand.
- In 2009 we have added a focus on literacy, encouraging the donation of new books along with toys for the children we served. As a result we were able to offer every parent the opportunity to select an age appropriate book for each child.
- The majority of the toys distributed to "Debi's Kids" families come from toy donations dropped off at collection bins throughout the Tri-county. Angel Tree's can also be found in local businesses allowing individuals to adopt an individual child.
- In 2009, thanks to a new and improved database, we determined at least half of our clients had not asked for help in 2008. Many of them shared that they had given to our campaign in previous years but now found themselves in a situation where they needed to ask for assistance.